Becoming Your 21st Century Library

- Frequently Asked Questions -

Didn’t you just do a remodel?
Time flies! Our last renovation began more than 20 years ago.

That was when:
The Spice Girls were #1 • Jerry Maquire “ completed you” • The Macarena was the hottest song (and dance) of the year • Dolly the Sheep was cloned • Nintendo 64 was first released • The Internet was only available to 20 million people worldwide •
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were the dreams of sci-fi enthusiasts • The computer was a cool typing machine • DVDs only existed in China • Mobile phones were brick-shaped with long, hard plastic antennas

So - it’s been a while! We’ve been working hard to maintain the building since then, but it’s beginning to deteriorate in ways we can’t sustain.

Are you adding square footage to the library?
No. We are unable to build up or out, so we’ll be using what we’ve got!

This is a beautiful library. Why do we need these changes?
We agree - we have a beautiful library! We plan to build upon and improve what we truly love about our building and the services we provide. If we don’t recognize and address our limitations now, it will be more difficult - and costly - to do so in the future.

Is this a timely “need” or just a “want”?
Of course we “want” our library to be the best it can possibly be, now and in the future. But we also “need” to maintain the integrity of our infrastructure in order to do so. The truth is, updating our carpet, lighting, wiring, etc. is a crucial part of ensuring our ability to safely keep our doors open and meet current technology demands.

How will these changes benefit the community?
Our transformation will allow us to readily adapt to our community’s changing needs - now, and in the future. It will:

  • improve access and work-flow by providing a centralized help desk, which will free up staff to be available in the stacks for on-the-spot help.
  • create flexible spaces that allow for collaboration, programming
    and quiet reading.
  • incorporate and improve technology access throughout the building.
    (Translation: better Wi-Fi and cool gadgets available to the public!)

    This quote from our director, Bryan J. McCormick, says it best:

    "This process will give us an opportunity to become the place of origin for new ideas, new business ventures, new partnerships and new experiences. "

Who is paying for this transformation and how much will it cost?
The proposed budget falls between $2.5 - $3.5 million. We are in the process of narrowing down the “must-haves” in order to fine tune that number. As for funding, we expect to use private donations to supplement our public funding.

How will this transformation impact the Library’s budget and ongoing operations, programs and staffing?
Our staffing needs will not change with our transformation. But the way we utilize our staff definitely will. As for the budget, we expect to see reduced utilities costs after replacing old and worn lighting, carpet and wiring. We are currently spending budget dollars on repairs and short-term fixes. We want to be as efficient as we possibly can so that your tax dollars are spent wisely and effectively.

When will the transformation begin?
Our Capital Campaign will kick off in the fall of 2016. We hope to begin building sometime in 2017.

Is this transformation a part of the downtown improvement plan?
No, it is not part of the Downtown ARISE plan - but it certainly fits in nicely with their mission.

Who will lead the capital campaign?
A committee of community members, library staff and library board members will become ambassadors for the campaign. Our co-chairs have not yet been named.

What can I do?

There are many ways you can contribute to our campaign.

  • Give the gift of money. Ask at any public desk for a Campaign Gift form.
  • Give the gift of time. There will be volunteer opportunities throughout the campaign. Visit our website often for updates.
  • Share your love of the library. You don’t have to be on any committee to tell people that you support our transformation. Spread the word!



WiFi Zone
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316 South Main Street Janesville, WI 53545 | (608) 758-6600